Well, I think it's funny, though I don't think it is intended to be.Proposal 6 here in Michigan would amend the Constitution so any major projects like, oh, a bridge to Canada, would have to be approved by voters before it could go forward. The back story is that there is a guy named Matty Moroun (I might have spelled that wrong, but it's close, really, pronounced Moe-Roon) owns all of the spans between Detroit and Windsor. They're private property, and his own little monopoly. Michigan and Canada want another span because none of the existing spans connect directly to interstates/highways on either side of the border, meaning all that trucking (it's part of the NAFTA Superhighway and one of the busiest international crossings on the planet!) has to go through surface streets on both sides of the border, making for some hellish back-ups. Frankly even if the bridges connected directly to the interstates/highways we'd still need another bridge just due to the load now and (hopefully!) increased load in the future.Matty wanted to build another bridge right next to the Ambassador... to keep his monopoly. Michigan and Canada said "No thanks!" and made a deal where Canada will pony up all the money to build the span in exchange for all of the tolls for a decade or two (something like that). Hey, great, we get a bridge, thousands of jobs to build it and Canada is paying for it!Well, Matty isn't going down quietly. He bankrolled Proposal 6 (he's a billionaire, his monopoly is quite lucrative!) basically in a last ditch effort to kill the deal.Anyway... onto the commercial airing on radio stations in Metro-Detroit (probably all throughout Michigan). At one point one of the actors says: "We can't go around building bridges! Our kids will have to pay for them!"Every time I hear that I just start laughing my keister off! That is 100% the opposite of what we keep hearing lefties clammor for, so he's alienating those voters. Meanwhile the biggest proponents of the bridge are Michigan businesses who want to do more trade with Canada, so appealing to the pro-business right in Michigan is a LONG shot at best. I really don't know what he's thinking! If Proposal 6 isn't defeated handily I'll be shocked!/For the record I'd be for the bridge even if we DID have to pay for it, but the way the deal is set up we don't even have to pay a dime!
Here are some interesting factoids about Matty Moroun from Wiki.Manuel "Matty" Moroun is an American businessman of Lebanese descent and the owner of CenTra, Inc., the holding company which controls the Ambassador Bridge. The latter is significant as it is the only private ownership of a border crossing between the United States and Canada. He bought the bridge from the Bower Family in 1979. It is now estimated to be worth between 1.5 and 3 billion dollars. CenTra, Inc., is also the controlling body of Central Transport International, an LTL trucking carrier. Moroun also has a controlling stake in Universal Truckload Services Inc., which is in itself a holding company for several over-the-road truck lines and logistics companies(Universal Am-Can Ltd., Mason Dixon Lines, Economy Transport, Cavalry Logistics, Louisiana Transportation, Inc. etc.)A recent Forbes article listed him as the 321st richest American.On March 25, 2010, it was announced that Moroun would sue the U.S. and Canadian governments over the Detroit River International Crossing. He sought to block construction of the new bridge as it would compete with his own proposal for a second span of the Ambassador Bridge, which he would also own. Critics suggest that Moroun's opposition is fuelled by the prospect of lost profits from duty-free gasoline sales, which are exempt from about 60 cents per gallon in taxes even though the pump price to consumers is only a few cents lower.In 2009, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) sued Moroun and the Detroit International Bridge Company for failing to comply with the terms of a contract to construct ramps connecting the Ambassador Bridge to nearby expressways as part of The Gateway Project. Wayne County Circuit Judge Prentis Edwards ruled in February 2010 that Moroun and the chief deputy of the Detroit International Bridge Co., Dan Stamper, were indeed in violation of the contract and ordered them to become in compliance. On January 12, 2012, Judge Edwards found both Moroun and Stamper to be in non-compliance with his previous order and ordered both men to jail, denying a motion to stay the order until it could be appealed to the Michigan Court of Appeals.After spending a night in jail, both men were later released by the appellate court while they heard the case.
Yup, he got tossed in the clink for a night for refusing to tear down a couple of ramps he built before the deal (which never happened) went through. I think there was even a party store that was essentially cut off from the rest of the city (the rest of everything!) when this ramp was illegally built, basically destroyed that business to as nobody could get to it (or perhaps it was just so difficult to get to it that nobody bothered, something like that).It's a really weird saga that has been going on for years. This proposal is the last-ditch effort by Moroun. But he's doing it "for the people", heh!
Proposal 6 here in Michigan would amend the Constitution so any major projects like, oh, a bridge to Canada, would have to be approved by voters before it could go forward.I'd like to see a bridge connecting Chicago to Michigan. You know, so you don't have to drive all the way around the southern end of the lake and through Indiana to get there. I think that would be pretty cool.
Best Of |
Favorites & Replies |
Start a New Board |
My Fool |
BATS data provided in real-time. NYSE, NASDAQ and NYSEMKT data delayed 15 minutes.
Real-Time prices provided by BATS. Market data provided by Interactive Data.
Company fundamental data provided by Morningstar. Earnings Estimates, Analyst Rat